My sister and I visited the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta last year, and it was incredible. Starting as a graffiti artist in the early 1980s, Basquiat parlayed his letters and symbols into art that blends language and image. The childlike simplicity of the images blended with the lyrical elements is interesting and somewhat haunting, given that his work is largely comprised of a social commentary, attacks on power structures, and suggestive dichotomies, such as wealth vs. poverty and integration vs. segregation. One of my favorites, which I have in my living room, is one of his earliest works Cadillac Moon, 1981. I love how spare and linear it is. To me it feels like he’s bringing the outside in[to the world of fine art] with his unfinished lines, quirky symbols and primitive language. He is undoubtedly interesting, whether it’s your taste in art or not. The exhibit of his work felt like a fascinating peek into the short life of a revolutionary artist. To me it is abstract genius – de Kooning meets street graffiti or something. It realky stuck with me and is definitely worth seeing if you get the opportunity.
Side note – Um, fun fact – did you know he dated Madonna ?? Yep, in like 1983 or something, just before her career took off. Bizarre 🤔
I stress about entryway tabletop displays big time. It’s the first thing people see when they walk in your house, and in a way, it sets the tone and mood of the whole place. I want my space to feel clean, subtle, and uncluttered, so I need an entryway that reflects those things. My canvas is a simple chest I painted white that I found in my aunt and uncles storage unit. Gotta love hand me downs. And relatives. First priority for me was a good looking lamp that’s not too big or small for the chest (I got this at a consignment shop for $30, swear to god). And since I can’t resist displaying a book, I chose one with a very sleek and minimalist cover (also it helps that it’s called simplicity haha). A small painting offsets the lamp and adds some balance and symmetry. An absolute must is my favorite candle of course which is Nest in “Bamboo”. It’s the perfect scent. Not to flowery, not too musty, not too strong, but just right. There’s nothing worse than a strong candle in a scent that can easily offend…eww. The final touch is the flexible one – any object, depending on the season and my mood. The photos below are my entryway done three ways, swapping only one item. Minimal effort, achieveing three very different looks. How easy is that?
First I chose a succulent mix (duh) which gives things a little color splash and a lively vibe. Next I arranged a tall vase with long sticks. I love bringing the outdoors in, especially in this case – it feels big and rustic and natural, but it doesn’t take over, and isn’t too distracting. The most sleek and safest of all would probably be a good looking glass vase, this one is Juliska Berry & Thread. It’s timeless, simple, and elegant. Clean, classic, calm, vibes. That’s the impression I’d like to give. Probably because in reality I’m messy and full of anxiety….🤷🏼♀️.
Side note – I told you I have way too much bright white happening everywhere.
Throw pillows can instantly make even the most blah piece of furniture or room look stylish, fun, and more alive. I put them anywhere I can. I love mixing colors, textures, solids, and patterns. I’m admittedly more of a plain Jane so I tend to gravitate toward pillows that aren’t super bright or busy, even though I love them. I’m working on it though! I’m constantly rearranging my pillows, from the sofas, chairs, the bench, and anywhere else I can get away with it. It’s pretty much a constant rotation depending on my mood, and it’s one of my favorite things to do when I’m bored. So gather all your pillows in a pile and play around with different mixes and options. Have a super fugly pillow? Get a plain cover in a good neutral color and mix it in with some more detailed ones. Simple solids tend to ground and offset the chaos of differing patterns and textures, which instantly makes the room look a little calmer, in my opinion.
Side note – for cute pillows on the affordable side try the Nate Berkus line at Target. Lots of fun patterns and textures in neutral and natural palettes. Home Goods also has rows and rows of every variety and color. If you are feeling wild and want to splurge, try Furbish Studio or Biscuit Home. They are basically throw pillow heaven.